Burlington plans waterfront facelift
Published: Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 22:09
Big changes are in the works for Burlington’s infrastructure.
The draft of a master plan to improve Burlington’s downtown and waterfront districts has been released for input from the city’s residents in a report that came out July 16.
The plan, which has been nearly two years in the making, is the product of a project called planBTV.
“This effort — undertaken with the help of hundreds of citizens — ranks among the most ambitious planning projects ever undertaken by the city,” David White, director of Planning & Zoning, stated in a letter printed in the plan’s introduction.
The 116-page document offers innovative solutions to solve some of the problems that have long plagued the Queen City, ranging from gridlocked streets to the housing market issues.
Also included in the plan are suggestions for how to expand Burlington’s creative economy, integrate agriculture and improve storm water treatment facilities.
PlanBTV was initiated after Burlington was awarded a Sustainable Communities Challenge grant by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for $286,750.
“[The grant] provides a unique opportunity to invest in the future, and advance Burlington’s place as one of America’s most livable and sustainable communities,” according to the planBTV website.
In the early stages of the project, officials worked with city residents to figure out what was working and what wasn’t.
From there, they discerned the themes that seemed most highly valued by residents and sought to translate those themes into tangible changes.
The plan focuses on nine “big ideas,” including transportation, agriculture, housing and the city’s economy.
Junior Owen Rachampbell said that while he doesn’t see a need for things to change downtown, he isn’t necessarily opposed to it.
“Since they’re taking the public’s opinion into account, I’m optimistic that the changes will be good,” he said.
“The overall feel of the downtown is something very special, but change is inevitable,” he said.
A planBTV Open House will be held Sept. 27 and Sept. 28 at Contois Auditorium from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. to allow the public to review, comment and discuss the plan.